By Katie Davies
Who doesn’t want to be a better writer? Whether you freelance or work in-house, there’s a constant pressure to better articulate your ideas, intrigue your audience, make fewer errors, and—of course—use your time more efficiently. Thankfully (or unfortunately?) there are about two billion tools out there that all promise to help you improve your writing. But which ones will really make a difference? Which ones are actually worth your time and attention—not to mention your money? Our team spent the last couple of weeks asking these same questions. We considered each step of the writing process—from brainstorming and note-taking to writing headlines and editing—and tested out the tools for ourselves.Depending on the area of your writing that you are trying to improve, you may just be interested in one category, or you may find that every single tool on this list can make a big difference. Either way, you’ll walk away a better writer.
What We Look For in the Best Writing Tools
Our team of writers tested dozens of tools that address many different aspects of the writing process. These are the ten that made the cut. Here’s what they have in common:
- Accessible: Ideas can strike anywhere, at any time. As a writer, it’s important that you can capture your ideas while on-the-go, and easily collaborate with others.
- Versatile: Every writer has their own personal style. Our favorite tools can work in a variety of ways, so you can find what works best for you.
- Free or Low-Cost: Regardless of whether you are just starting out or have already established a name for yourself, there’s no need to pay a big price, even for tools that can make a big difference.
#1: Grammarly – Best for Proofreading
Whether you’ve been writing for days or decades, a second pair of eyes can always help. Described as “a free writing assistant,” Grammarly will proofread any kind of text.As well as highlighting any spelling or grammar mistakes, Grammarly will tell you if you’ve missed a word or are using an incorrect article.Another plus is that it’s versatile—if you don’t care for (or can’t install) the browser extension, you can visit the Grammarly website and opt for the self-contained online grammar checker instead.
Is It Free?
Grammarly offers a basic free plan, but you can upgrade to one of the premium plans for more advanced checks on punctuation, context, grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Having said that, the two premium plans come at a pretty substantial monthly rate.
#2: Scapple – Best for Brainstorming
Sometimes, the hardest part of writing can just be trying to make sense of your initial ideas. Scrapple helps you capture all of your thoughts and establish visual connections between them.It’s great for making mind maps and tracking your thoughts while you indulge in creative idea generation. The flexible interface is particularly good for visual thinkers and creative types that need a little help organizing and planning.
Is It Free?
You can use Scapple for free for 30 “active” days, which means only the days that you actually sign in, as opposed to 30 calendar days after you sign up. You can then continue to use the tool on a standard license for a very reasonable one-time fee.
#3: Evernote – Best for Capturing Ideas
Still on the subject of collecting your thoughts and getting ready to write, the Evernote note-taking app helps you capture new ideas on the go via your mobile phone.Who said you have to capture your thoughts in written form? Not Evernote. This app lets you put pictures, voice notes, and web pages in its virtual scrapbook for safekeeping. These features give it an added edge compared to some of the other note-taking apps.You can also sync your notes across devices and access them anywhere and everywhere.
Is It Free?
Evernote’s basic plan is free, but you can upgrade to the paid plan for a small monthly charge. If you’re not sure whether to upgrade, you can try Evernote Premium for free for 30 days.
#4: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – Best for First Impressions
As a writer, it’s your job to create click-worthy headlines that capture readers’ attention and invite them to learn more. That’s where CoSchedule Headline Analyzer comes in.Just enter a headline idea and a few details about your article. Then click “Analyze Now” and your headline will be scored on a scale of 0-100 according to the number of common, uncommon, emotional, and powerful words.You want to score as highly as possible in the last two categories, because readers will click to read more when they feel an emotional connection.
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One thought on “10 Absolute Best Online Tools for Writers in 2023”
this would be great as i had to plan a book a while back but its on hold at the moment being focused on other things